The recent AGM of the Emsworth Residents Association (ERA) was a combined meeting with the Emsworth Forum. Those attending were briefed about the proposed merger of the ERA with the Forum which, as its key activity, produced the Neighbourhood Plan for the town (approved in 2021). After that major achievement the Forum has the role of working closely with Havant Borough Council on how Emsworth moves ahead, particularly on planning matters and managing some grants spent on local initiatives. Now it is clear that working as one unit the Residents Association and the Forum can be more effective in representing Emsworth and actively supporting initiatives such as the Spencers Field Community Group. ERA members and Forum members were separately asked to support the merger, and both groups voted in favour nem con. The photo (courtesy of the EMS) shows Mike Bateman (left) and Theo Schofield (right), the current Chairs of the Forum and ERA respectively, shaking hands after the vote.
The new organisation will be called the Emsworth Residents Forum (ERF). Another meeting will be held, provisionally on 17th March, to approve a constitution for the ERF, elect a committee and discuss ideas for broadening the membership and making the organisation truly proactive.
Currently ERA has 800+ members and the Forum about 400. As there were no membership fees for the Forum any who belonged only to that organisation will be encouraged to pay for future annual membership to ERF. Those who belonged only to the ERA will automatically become members of ERF.
Note: Emsworth Community Association is another different and separate organisation that runs the premises of Emsworth Community Centre. Local residents can belong to this too.